POSTED: Saturday July 18th 2009


Unprecedented Coverage of Championships Includes Swimming, Diving, Water Polo, Open Water and Synchronized Swimming Events


       LOS ANGELES – July 17, 2009 – NBC Sports and Universal Sports, in cooperation with the International Swimming Federation (FINA), present more than 50 hours of coverage of the 2009 FINA World Aquatics Championships taking place July 17 – August 2 in Rome. The U.S. team is led by Michael Phelps, who won seven gold medals at the 2007 Championships in Melbourne along with teammates Ryan Lochte, Dara Torres and Aaron Peirsol. Coverage of the 13th FINA World Championships covers all disciplines governed by FINA, including swimming, diving, water polo, open water and synchronized swimming events.  The planned coverage on Universal Sports and NBC more than triples the amount of broadcast hours for any international aquatics event outside of the Olympic Games.

COVERAGE ON NBC SPORTS: NBC Sports will air six hours of competition over two weekends beginning July 26 from 12-2 p.m. ET and continuing August 1 and 2 from 12–2 p.m. ET.  Highlighted races include the men’s and women’s 4x100m freestyle relays, pitting the U.S. against top rivals from France and Australia on July 26; the men’s 100m buttery on August 1, featuring Olympic champion and recent world-record setter Michael Phelps; and the women’s 50m freestyle on August 2, with 42-year-old Dara Torres continuing to defy her age.

COVERAGE ON UNIVERSAL SPORTS: Universal Sports will feature a two-hour primetime show at 7 p.m. ET every night of the Championships, beginning tomorrow. The network will also run a daily, two-hour live program during the swimming finals, beginning noon ET from Monday, July 27 through Friday, July 31.  The men’s and women’s water polo teams hope to climb one step higher on the podium after earning silver medals at the Beijing Games, while the U.S. diving team challenges China’s dominance of the sport.  Notable swimming races on Universal Sports include the women’s 200m individual medley on July 2 featuring Beijing silver medalist Christine Magnuson; the men’s 100m freestyle on July 30; and the 200m backstroke showdown between Lochte and Peirsol on July 31.

COVERAGE ON UNIVERSALSPORTS.COM: will provide live streaming coverage of the entire swimming competition, from heats through finals. Live webcasts begin today at 11:30 a.m. ET with the men’s 1m diving final.

NBC Sports’ Olympic swimming broadcast team, featuring three-time Olympic gold medalist Rowdy Gaines, Emmy Award-winning host Dan Hicks, and reporter Andrea Kremer, will provide commentary for the swimming event, while Emmy Award-winning host Ted Robinson and former Olympic diver Cynthia Potter will cover the diving competition.  Coverage on both networks is hosted and produced by the NBC Olympics production team, led by NBC Sports and Olympics Executive Producer David Neal.

“This is unprecedented coverage of the 2009 FINA World Championships, the most any network has ever dedicated to aquatics across all the disciplines, providing viewers with more than 50 hours of television coverage, as well as robust online offerings,” said Claude Ruibal, CEO of Universal Sports.  “Collectively, NBC Sports, Universal Sports and, will deliver world-class, wall-to-wall coverage of these exciting World Championships to millions of fans.”

A full TV schedule is available at, and a detailed competition schedule, as well as highlights, full-length videos, photos, breaking news and more will be available at Universal Sports’ swimming channel at

TEAM USA: Top contenders include 14-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps competing in the 200m freestyle, 100m and 200m butterfly; Dara Torres competing in the 50m freestyle; Olympic gold medalist Aaron Peirsol competing in the 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke; and Ryan Lochte competing in the 200m and 400m IM and 200m backstroke. Aaron Peirsol set two world records at the USA Swimming National Championships (100m fly and 200m backstroke), while Phelps set the world record in the 100m fly.

ABOUT UNIVERSAL SPORTS: Universal Sports, a partnership between NBC Sports and InterMedia Partners, serves as the preeminent multiplatform destination for Olympic-related and lifestyle sports programming available on television and online. Universal Sports, available in 56 million homes, is in nine of the top 10 DMAs including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Francisco, Atlanta, Washington D.C., Houston, Seattle and Denver. Major world championship and Olympic qualifying events found on Universal Sports range from track and field, skiing, swimming, gymnastics, marathons and cycling, to volleyball, rowing, triathlon, fencing, speed skating and martial arts. delivers an immersive experience via live and on-demand competition coverage, as well as interaction with top athletes through blogs and in-depth access to Olympic sports news and information year round. For more information on the availability of the Universal Sports 24-hour television channel, please visit

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Media Contacts:
NBC Sports
Adam Freifeld
(212) 664-6772

Universal Sports
Melisa Mowry
(240) 396-1906

Amy Sorrells
(404) 550-4885

Greg Hughes

(404) 394-3700

       Members of the media can get more information about NBC Universal and its programming on the NBC Universal Media Village Web site at

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Keywords · NBC · 2009 FINA World Aquatics Championships · Rome · Michael Phelps

Name: Adam Freifeld
Organization: NBC
Phone: +1.212-664-6772

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